glide: an online marketplace for short-term software subscriptions
Mehul Sharma, John John, Sundar Subramanian
January to May 2018
Integrative Studio 1 (MS Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design)
The nature of work is rapidly changing. Currently, freelancers and gig economy workers comprise 35% of the US workforce. By the year 2024, this number is expected to rise up to 47%.As people move towards freelancing and independent work, they lose the protection and benefits provided by a corporate job.
As part of an academic project made in collaboration with CitiVentures, the team is tasked to develop a business that would create value for and support the needs of this growing workforce. We created a pay-per-use model software programs to address the struggles of gig workers with high software subscriptions.
Industry and Market Research
We started looking at the trends industries and the buzz that has been happening around freelancing.
To meet potential interview participants, we went to freelancer meet-ups and gatherings to get contacts and introduce our project.
We conducted in-depth interviews across a wide range of freelancer profiles - consultants, entrepreneurs, Uber drivers, and creative professionals - and experience levels.
We also ran a survey that probes on their motivations in being a freelancer and the struggles that they experience. We posted the survey link to our social media accounts and joined freelancer groups on Facebook to reach an audience outside our circles.
Ethnography + Fly-on-the-Wall Observation
We visited coffee shops and several coworking spaces to understand the environment that freelancers are in. We also observed the perks and services that these coworking spaces provide to members.
WORKSHOPS, PROTOTYPING, AND TESTING
Workshops with Stakeholders and Knowledge Brokering
All throughout the design process, we conducted ideation and co-creation workshops with freelancers and other stakeholders to hear their thoughts on our findings and the solutions that we were thinking about.
After our research, we arrived on three initial concepts. We created mock interfaces and prototypes to further illustrate our concept and tested them with users through workshops and wall surveys.
Stakeholder Consultation and User + Business Model Testing
After settling on one idea from our workshops and prototyping sessions, we reached out to groups working at the other sides of the equation - software providers and tech strategists - to gain more context on the validity and feasibility of our solution.
HIGH SOFTWARE SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE A PAIN FOR CREATIVE FREELANCERS
Software subscriptions are an issue because of the nature of work of freelancers
High software subscriptions are an issue for creative freelancers, especially when they get their income and have projects at an irregular manner. The costs eventually add up and the subscriptions become an irrational choice, especially when projects only run for a short period.
GLIDE: AN ONLINE MARKETPLACE FOR SHORT-TERM SOFTWARE SUBSCRIPTIONS
Because of the nature of freelance projects, we created a platform that allows users to pay for short-term packages including 1-day, 3-day, 1-week or 2-week packages for various software programs. The packages come at a low cost and fit the needs of freelancers who only need to use software programs at a short period of time.
Accelerator to customer conversion
Glide accelerates the customer conversion process from being a free user to a paying customer as users realize the value of the software program.
Testing platform for emerging SaaS providers
For emerging SaaS providers, they can use the platform to test their products and get their first real customers to help make their products better.